Theory of Science and knowledge production in the humanities

Third-cycle level | 7.5 credits | Course code: HFVT301
VT 2021
Study period: 2021-04-28 - 2021-06-09
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION: The course is given in English
Application period: 2021-02-26 - 2021-04-01
VT 2023
Study period: 2023-04-03 - 2023-06-09
LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION: The course is given in English
Application period: 2022-10-03 - 2023-03-19

Course description

The course aims to give Ph.D. students tools that will give them the ability to reflect and situate their own knowledge production within both a disciplinary and an epistemic tradition, as well as within the current (inter)national research policy context. The course is comprised of three thematic sections: 1. Different modes of scientific knowledge production, key-concepts within each mode, as well as what scientific claims made by each mode. 2. Epistemic and methodological positions with regards to the relationship between scientific knowledge and power, as well as how this relationship affects or even structures our understanding of what counts as relevant research and what kind of research questions that can be posed. 3. Current prerequisites for research, both within the humanities, as well as within other areas, with a specific focus on collaboration, democratization of research, and how the humanities are affected by research evaluations and research policies.    


Learning outcomes:

After finishing the course, the students should be able to: 

Knowledge and understanding

To demonstrate knowledge about different epistemic traditions within Theory of Science and within the humanities.

To demonstrate an increased knowledge and understanding of the epistemic and methodological foundations within the student’s own academic discipline.

Skills and abilities

To analyze key-issues within the course literature and to associate this analysis to the research process of the student’s own thesis.

Identify and compare the basis for different types of claims for truth within scientific research.

Judgement and approach

To critically discuss the epistemological premises of the student’s own research field and its relationship to the surrounding society, as well as the research questions and methods that comprise the basis for the student’s own thesis. 


Form of teaching and examination:

The teaching will consist of lectures and seminars, and the teaching languages are English and Swedish. The examination of the course is through a paper in which the Ph.D. students’ own thesis are discussed and reflected on in relation one or several of the perspectives that has been discussed in the course. Moreover, the examination of the course also consist of participation in the final seminar of the course, where all papers will be discussed by the course coordinators/instructors, as well as by the students who participate in the course. The course will be graded with either Pass (G) or Fail (U). 

Requirements and Selection

Entry requirements

General entry requirements for third-cycle education according to Admissions Regulations.


Doctoral students from other universities are welcome to apply for the course. Students enrolled at a Faculty of Humanities or a Faculty of Social Sciences will have priority.

In the event of the course being oversubscribed, candidates will be prioritised using the following criteria:

1. Doctoral students enrolled at the Faculty of Humanities, University of Gothenburg
2. Doctoral students enrolled at other faculties of the University of Gothenburg
3. Doctoral students enrolled at other universities

Course syllabus



Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science




Theory of Science

CONTACTChristopher Kullenberg